The Christmas decorations are up, the leftover turkey is (sadly) almost finished, and you are left with the remnants of your Autumnal adornments. All those lovely pumpkins have been exchanged for shiny tinsel and dazzling glass orbs.
Although those gourdeous (heehee, see what I did there?) adornments are behind us, that is not to say that they have lost their usefulness.
The solution to most of life's problems is cookies. The solution to the rest of them is soup.
For some time now I have had this pumpkin soup recipe on my ever-growing recipes-to-try list. It peaked my interest, because unlike most gourd-based soup recipes, this soup is actually baked inside the pumpkin.
Our pumpkins need to be cleaned and gutted before we fill them with all sorts of deliciousness. Creamy goat cheese, crisp apples, fresh thyme, onions, salt, chicken broth, butter and cream combine to form the base of this rich bisque.
The pumpkins are baked until the flesh is tender, then the sides are gently scraped to remove the soft, flavorful meat. An immersion blender is very helpful at this point because it allows us to puree the pumpkin directly into that rich, flavorful broth we have created.
You may choose to ladle the soup into individual bowls, or serve it in its more natural vessel. Either way, the flavors of the season will fill your senses.
This is the last stand for these final fruits of autumn, and it’s a beautifully flavorful one.
Roasted Pumpkin Soup
recipe slightly adapted from Alton Brown / serves 4
- 1 whole medium pumpkin (4 lbs) or two smaller pumpkins (1.5-2 lbs)*
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 small sweet onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 small apple (any crisp, sweet variety will do) peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 ounces chevre
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Use a sharp knife to cut a lid out of your pumpkin(s). Cut around the stem at an angle to form an opening several inches wide. Use a heavy spoon to scrape away the seeds and fibers from the inside of the pumpkin. Be thorough with this step, as you do not want stringy pumpkin floating around in your soup. Grease a large, high-sided, oven-safe dish with olive oil and place pumpkins inside.
Fill the pumpkin(s) with butter, diced onion, salt, garlic, apples, chicken broth and heavy cream. If you are working with two pumpkins, divide the ingredients evenly between the two. Cap each pumpkin with its lid and brush with olive oil. Bake for 1-1/2 hours, depending on the size of your pumpkin(s). Remove when the skin has begun to deepen in color and the flesh is fairly tender when poked with a fork, but not fully cooked.
Remove the lid(s) and add thyme and chèvre. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes, then allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.
Use a large spoon to gently scrape some of the pumpkin flesh into the soup mixture. Be careful here! You want the walls of the pumpkin to stay intact. Do not scrape away all of the flesh, otherwise the pumpkin could collapse. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth, being careful to not blend too close to the sides or bottom of the pumpkin, as the blender could tear the skin.
Serve immediately. Enjoy!
*Unfortunately, not every pumpkin on your mantle or dinning room table will make for a toothsome soup. The large, tough pumpkins you would use for carving are not ideal for cooking. However, Sugar Pie pumpkins or even Cinderella pumpkins are both just as appealing to the eye as they are to the palate.